European Rewilding Network launched at WILD10

October 17, 2013

The European Rewilding Network has officially been launched on October 9 during WILD10, the World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain. Our aim is to build a living network of many rewilding initiatives supporting rewilding in Europe as a conservation tool and as something to learn from and get inspired by.

The start of the European Rewilding Network was announced on the Rewilding Europe website in July and the first inspiring rewilding initiatives were invited to join and start sharing experiences, expertise and best practices on rewilding more easily.

Twenty rewilding initiatives from thirteen countries joined so far: from Scotland to Romania and from Latvia to Spain. The total extension of areas in the Network already exceeds 633,000 hectares; this excludes the Rewilding Europe areas that cover another 2,180,000 hectares. The online database including an outline of the members of the Network became publicly accessible during WILD10.

The current members of the Network comprise forest-grassland mosaics, Mediterranean vegetation, mountainous sites, temperate deciduous forest and wetlands. Within these areas important species like bear, beaver, bison, wild-living horse, lynx, red deer, vulture and wolf are roaming. Furthermore, areas with chamois, eagle, elk, fallow deer, wild-living cattle, otter, wild boar and even whales and dolphins are now present in the European Rewilding Network. Apart from rewilding initiatives in which flooding is allowed, several areas with natural grazing and predation are included as important natural processes.

The European Rewilding Network is an open network. We encourage not only rewilding initiatives where natural processes and wildlife species are present but also warmly welcome initiatives that have successful agreements with forestry organizations or hunting associations as well as successful examples of enterprises and businesses that clearly connect to rewilding. We are very pleased to invite rewilding initiatives to become a member of the European Rewilding Network that are related to one or more of the mentioned elements.

Every initiative that already joined the Network has submitted information about what kind of experience they would like to share and gain with other members. In the coming weeks we will align the exchange of information between the members of the Network. In the near future, possibilities for arranging training opportunities, learning seminars and experience-sharing visits will be investigated.

We look forward to welcoming Europe’s most exciting rewilding initiatives into the European Rewilding Network.

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